In Britain, house prices continue to rise

In Britain, house prices continue to rise

Despite the government’s decision to move the stamp duty threshold back down to £125,000 at the end of 2009, the Nationwide’s figures show the market started the year strongly, with the average cost of a home in the UK rising by more than £1,300 to £163,481.

Prices have now increased by 8.6 pc, since January 2009, when the housing market was in the doldrums, and the society said that unless they fall next month, the annual rate of house price inflation would return to double figures for the first time since May 2007.
The three-month rate of change dipped slightly from 2.3 pc in December to 2.1 pc in January, but Nationwide said this was mainly a result of small increases at the end of last year.

Nationwide’s chief economist, Martin Gahbauer, said recent economic data, including ones that the UK had come out of recession, was a “mixed bag” for the housing market.
Last year earnings growth fell to its lowest level on record as employers opted to reduce pay and cut hours as an alternative to making redundancies, and Gahbauer said this could have a knock-on effect on prices.

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